A group that documented Nazi war crimes is now investigating whether massacres committed by Islamic State jihadists against Iraq’s Yazidi minority amount to genocide.
Three European researchers have embarked on the gargantuan task of establishing that the IS crimes aimed to systematically wipe out an ethnic group, in a bid to push the international community to halt the brutal crimes.
“We are not seeking to be sensational but to establish the stages of the criminal process for each category of the Yazidi — men, women, children — in order to back up the claim of genocide,” Andrej Umansky, criminal law specialist at Cologne University, told AFP.
The Yazidis are neither Arabs nor Muslims and have a unique faith which IS jihadists consider to be heretical and polytheistic. The Kurdish-speaking minority is mostly based around Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq.
When the jihadists made an unexpected push in August last year into parts of northern Iraq under Kurdish control, the Yazidis were the worst hit, with many massacred and abducted.